Alpine National Park, 31st December 2013, VKFF – 619

Alpine National Park Accord Spur

Alpine National Park Accord Spur

After enjoying Mt Buffalo National Park I decided I would tackle something a little easier in the late afternoon. Thirteen contacts were all great and signals were so different to those I heard in the morning. They were loud!

My first contact was at 06:34 on 7090 with VK3VEK, Kevin; VK3ANP, David; VK3FBP, Len; VK5PAS, Paul; VK3SE, Steve; VK3SOG, Fred; VK5CZ, Ian; VK3ANP, David; VK5EE, Tom; VK5FBAC, Charles; VK2UH (VK1DA) a real rag chew, great contact; VK5KC, David and VK5FMID, Brian, making 13 contacts in all.

Alpine National Park

Alpine National Park

‘The Alpine National Park stretches from central Gippsland all the way to the New South Wales border where it adjoins Kosciusko National Park. Within the park are some of Australia’s most stunning alpine landscapes, including mountain peaks, escarpments and grassy high plains’ (Parks Victoria brochure). Bon Accord Spur was accessed from a track near the East Branch of the Ovens River. So our visit was at the Northern end of the park. We have previously visited the Alpine National Park on two occasions approaching from Gippsland and making our way to the Wonnangatta Station. It was not a National Park then: but Crown Land and Forrest Commission Land. In 1973 and 1977 when we visited, it was known to a much smaller group of 4 x 4 enthusiasts than it is now. The trip into Wonnangatta from Gippsland was regarded then as challenging, with quite a few river crossings and steep climbing on narrow tracks. It may be more challenging now dealing with the extra traffic and the chopped up tracks and damaged river crossings. Our approach to driving here was cautious: as it was our first real excursion to an out of the way location. We were self-taught 4 x 4 drivers. We did not join a club until late 1998 in South Australia. We walked every river crossing before venturing in! The picture shows that I walked this crossing (a baby one) but I will admit JCD walked more! Here are a few more pictures from the VK5BJE archives.

A great camping spot on the way to Wonnangatta Station March 1973

A great camping spot on the way to Wonnangatta Station March 1973

JCD driving our short wheel-base Toyota Land Cruiser across one of many river crossings, March 1973

JCD driving our short wheel-base Toyota Land Cruiser across one of many river crossings, March 1973

House ruins at Wonnangatta - accidently destroyed by fire in 1957

House ruins at Wonnangatta – accidently destroyed by fire in 1957

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Sota Summit ‘The Horn’ in Mt Buffalo National Park, 31st December 2013, VKFF – 339

Sota Summit VK3 VE 014 is a special point on the Mt Buffalo plateau: called ‘the Great Granite Plateau’ in the ‘Park Notes’ published by the Victorian Government. Its elevation is 1723 metres and is at the end of a 1.5k track, which the sign board says takes 45 minutes, is a lookout giving spectacular views for 360 degrees. After arriving there I did not think I could safely activate from that point and proceed to look for a suitable location within the activation zone. I eventually set up my gear and called CQ on 7095. I did not get a response and tuned around to find a pretty quiet band. I did hear VK3YSP/p, Joe and VK3FOWL/p, Julie calling from the Lower Goulburn River National Park. They were attracting considerable interest. I joined the queue and after a successful contact with both of them asked Joe to let people know that I would be operating on 7095. I migrated there and enjoyed contacts with VK3BHE, Phil; VK3FMPB/p, John in the Kinglake National Park, VK3MJB, Tim in the La Trobe Valley and VK3AMB, Bernard. Received signal reports ranged from 5 and 0 to 4 and 3. Six contacts means I have successfully activated this SOTA summit. But it was a difficult activation. While I enjoyed the reasonably difficult climb, the views and speaking to quite a number of people, I thought I might be louder! It was not to be.

Back on top! 'The Horn'

Back on top! ‘The Horn’

I did propose to activate ‘The Hump’. I found the walk challenging as have some previous SOTA activators. I got quite a way up the track but decided to quit: it was warm and I was tired. My wife Jenny got to the top and she said the last bit was quite tough. I was sorry that I was not able to activate this peak – maybe next time! Perhaps I was being too ambitious?

Cathedral - Hump Track

Cathedral – Hump Track

The Hump - Just a mere pile of rocks!

The Hump – Just a mere pile of rocks!